There’s something truly magical about the aroma of freshly baked sugar cookies wafting through the kitchen during the holiday season, isn’t there?

These gorgeous almond vanilla sugar cookies have a warm and festive flavor that I know you’re going to love. In fact, this is my favorite sugar cookie recipe of all time. It’s absolutely perfect for Christmastime (or anytime, really).

And the best part is that these cookies are made with only a few ingredients (that you’re sure to have on hand), and they hold their shape without chilling the dough. Talk about a winner!

Cut out sugar cookies sitting on an antique baking sheet with a bowl of sugar next to them.

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Here’s What You Need to Make These Cookies

First, let’s start with the basics – the (very short list of) ingredients you need for these almond vanilla sugar cookies. You’re going to love this, these cookies are made with simple pantry staples. Here’s the list:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 TBS milk
  • Extra sugar and sparkling sugar or sprinkles
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Cut out sugar cookies laying on a table with a few stacked up on each other.

Next, Let’s Talk About How to Make These Almond Vanilla Sugar Cookies – They’re so Easy

  1. Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lining four baking sheets with parchment paper. In addition to preventing sticking, the parchment paper makes for easy clean up.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
  1. Creaming the Butter and Sugar: Next, in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes nice and smooth, but avoid-over mixing and adding too much air. The butter and sugar shouldn’t be whipped.
  2. Adding Flavors: Then add in the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract and continue mixing for an additional minute, just until incorporated.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
  1. Sifting the Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, quickly whisk the flour and sea salt together.

Tip

If you want to save a bowl, you can add the flour directly to the butter mixture and sprinkle the salt over the top before mixing it with the mixer.

  1. Combining the Ingredients: Next, you’ll want to add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the dough becomes crumbly. Then, using your hands, work the dough together to form a smooth ball. Because this recipe makes a large dough ball that’s cumbersome, divide the dough into two parts for easier handling and rolling.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
  1. Rolling and Cutting: Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to an 1/8 inch (or 6mm) thickness using an adjustable rolling pin. Cut out as many cookies as possible per roll, flouring the surface as needed to prevent sticking. This dough doesn’t require any chilling, so after mixing, you’re ready to go.
  2. Brushing and Sprinkling: Place the cut-out cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Then gently brush the top of each cookie with milk using a pastry brush, and sprinkle with a mix of a large granule sugar and sparkling sugar for a touch of sweetness and a sparkling visual appeal.

Tip

You can use sprinkles instead of sugar, a combination of the two, or even buttercream frosting if you prefer. These cookies can handle pretty much anything.

Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
Process shots of making cut out sugar cookies.
  1. Baking: Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even baking. The cookies shouldn’t be brown at all, but the centers should be set. If they are browning take them out.
  2. Cooling and Storage: Finally, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once they’re cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • Be sure to check out the full ingredient list and recipe instructions below.
Cut out sugar cookies laying on a wooden table with a few on a circle rack and a bowl of sugar next to them.

What you’ll love about this recipe

  • Irresistible Flavor: One of the standout features of these almond vanilla sugar cookies is their irresistible flavor. The combination of almond extract and vanilla extract creates an unmistakable holiday cookie. The sweetness and subtle nuttiness from the almond extract perfectly complements the sweet warmth of vanilla, resulting in a cookie that’s both familiar and unique.
  • Perfectly Textured Cookies: The recipe’s careful balance of ingredients ensures that these cookies achieve the ideal soft and flaky texture without spreading. They have crisp clean edges without tasting to “floury”. The cookies are tender and melt-in-your-mouth, but are the perfect balance between softness and structure.
  • Easy-to-Handle Dough: Making cut-out cookies can be a fun, yet challenging job. However, this recipe simplifies the process by providing a dough that is easy to handle and doesn’t require any chill time. Because this cookie dough is user-friendly, it ensures a fun and stress-free baking experience.
  • Versatile Decorating Options: The simple yet elegant brushing of milk and sprinkling of sugar and sparkling sugar on top not only enhances the flavor and texture, but makes for a beautiful cookie. These cookies are also solid enough to handle buttercream frosting if that’s more your jam. I have a great frosting recipe right here.
Cut out sugar cookies laying on a wooden table with a small bowl of sugar.

Questions About This Recipe

Absolutely. Make sure to put the dough in an airtight container (and/or wrap tightly with saran wrap) and express as much air as possible before freezing.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, thaw the dough in the refrigerator the night before and then let it sit on the counter to come up to room temperature before baking.

You can also freeze the baked and cooled cookies. Just place them in an airtight container and they’ll stay fresh for months.

Yes! This dough is very sturdy and can be rolled thin or thick. In fact, if you’re going to frost them with buttercream, you could roll them 3/8 inch (or 10mm). Using an adjustable rolling pin will help make the cookies smooth and uniform in thickness.

No! That’s the great thing about these cookies – there is NO CHILLING REQUIRED. Mix the dough up as described and you’re ready to go. It’s quick and easy and the cookies come out perfect every time.

Well…I always recommend weighing at least the flour, since it can make a big difference in the outcome of the cookies, but if you absolutely positively don’t want to weigh it, use the fluff, spoon, and level method to avoid adding too much flour.

If you add too much flour, the texture of the cookies will be more dense, harder, and taste more like flour.

While the almond extract is what gives these cookies their signature flavor; if you’re not a huge fan, you can leave it out and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon instead.

Cut out sugar cookies laying on an old cookie sheet with one leaning up on a jar of milk.

And, there you have it my friends – these almond vanilla sugar cookies are a tasty little treat that combines the warmth of vanilla with the rich nuttiness of almond to create the perfect soft and flaky sugar cookie.

With this straightforward recipe and helpful tips for making perfectly cut-out cookies that don’t spread, you can create a batch of these delicious and stunningly beautiful cookies in no time at all. Happy baking my friends!

Cut out sugar cookies laying on a wooden table.

Almond Vanilla Sugar Cookies

By: Kristine Underwood
These almond vanilla sugar cookies have the perfect balance of nutty almond flavor and the warmth of vanilla. With a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a slight crunch from the sugar and sparkling sugar sprinkles, each bite is holiday cookie perfection. The no chill, easy-to-handle dough allows for effortlessly cutting out shapes that don't spread, making these cookies both fun to make and fun to eat.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sweets & Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 111 kcal

ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cup flour (weighed – 406.25 grams)
  • 2 TBS milk (any kind, for brushing the tops of the cookies)
  • Extra sugar and sparkling sugar (for sprinkling)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until smooth.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar
  • Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and continue mixing for another minute.
    1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp almond extract
  • In a separate bowl, weigh the flour and whisk in the sea salt.
    3 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp sea salt
  • Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until crumbly.
  • Using your hands, work the dough together to form a nice smooth ball and separate dough into two parts.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness (6mm) using an adjustable rolling pin (second largest size on the Joseph Joseph) and cut out as many cookies as possible per roll. Flour the dough and the surface as needed between each roll out.
  • Place cut out cookies on a lined baking sheet. They don't spread much, so you can get several per sheet, depending on the size of your cut outs.
  • After cutting out all the cookies, using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of each cookie with milk (any kind), and sprinkle the tops with a mix of large granule sugar and sparkling sugar or sugar sprinkles.
    2 TBS milk, Extra sugar and sparkling sugar
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cookies should not be brown, but the centers should be set.
  • Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Make sure to read the cookie baking tips to get answers to common questions about baking cookies.
**If you prefer, you can omit the almond extract and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 111kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 165IUVitamin C: 0.002mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




20 Comments

  1. I am a terrible sugar cookie baker by history. But I saw these pretty cookies and had to try them. I can’t believe it, but it worked! My husband said the cookies taste really good too. I may save this recipe FOREVER!5 stars

    1. Hi Tabitha! I’m so happy to hear this and I’m being totally honest when I say, this is truly one of my favorites. I make these cookies several times a year for different holidays with different sprinkles. So glad they were a yummy success!

  2. Whipped up a batch of these for Christmas cookie trays, and they do not disappoint! Light yet flavorful; will make great gifts this year, thanks!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Sara! So glad to hear you enjoyed the cookies and yes, they make beautiful gifts! Happy Holidays!

  3. These almond sugar cookies turned out delicious and just as pretty as the pictures. They are a great addition to our holiday cookie tray!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Lauren! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the cookies too!

  4. The almond flavor really makes these sugar cookies great. This recipe is one of my favorites by far. Thanks, Kristine!5 stars

    1. You are most welcome, Lisa! I’m so glad to hear you love the cookies too! I make them several times a year myself, haha!

  5. I’m so glad I found your site. These cookies are beautiful and delicious. Thanks for sharing them!5 stars

    1. You bet, Nancy! I’m thrilled you made, and loved the cookies. Thanks for taking a minute to leave a review, I really appreciate it!

  6. This recipe is perfect. I LOVE how my cookies held their shape because this is always a challenge for me. The taste was delicious and I like that hint of almond. I used large white sanding sugar which made them very glittery!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Cyndy! I’ve had trouble in the past too, which prompted me to create a recipe that was fail-safe. So glad to hear the cookies worked well for you and that you enjoyed them! Happy Holidays!

  7. I love these snowflake cookie cutters! I want!5 stars

    1. Hi Ann! Thank you so much! The larger one is from the dollar section at Target (this year) and the smaller one is part of a 3 set of nesting snowflakes I found at Joann Fabric (also this year) and they’re both on sale! Happy Baking!

  8. I am not much of a seasonal baker, but I don’t think I want to stay away from making this pretty cookie. Love it.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Seema! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies!

  9. These smell like absolute heaven! I love almond flavor so much!5 stars

    1. Awww thank you so much, Naelle! Me too, it’s the best smell ever. Thanks for taking a minute to comment, I really appreciate it! Happy Holidays!

  10. These cookies are the cutest and so festive! I was planning on making them for our holiday party and ended up making a small batch at home first. They turned amazing!5 stars

    1. I’m so glad to hear it, Artney! They are a fun one to make (and eat), for sure. Happy Holidays!